Posts Tagged Columbus Blue Jackets

NHL Rumors: Leiweke, Johansen, Schwartz and Hayes

  • Elliotte Friedman: Hearing that Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment president/CEO Tim Leiweke will be leaving the company soon. Not sure where Leiweke is planning on going, but talk is that he could be looking for a new challenge.
  • Elliotte Friedman of CBC: Leiweke in an email.

    “Not true,” he wrote via email. “Not here forever, but very focused and very committed for the season at hand. Not thinking about long-term yet.” He followed up later with an even stronger public statement.

    It’s known that the relationship between Leiweke and the board is strained. Rogers and Bell were battling it out for TV rights, making it hard for people at the top to work together.

  • Aaron Portzline: Monday was the first time that the Blue Jackets and Ryan Johansen’s camp would talk about the possibility of holding out of training camp. Agent Kurt Overhardt has a history of his clients holding out: Turris (PHX), Dubinsky (NYR), Turco (DAL), Shields (SJ), Morrison (NJ). Overhardt is also the agent for Ryan Kesler, who signed an offer sheet with the Flyers just before training camp started in 2006.
  • Jeremy Rutherford: Blues RFA Jaden Schwartz’s agent Wade Arnott: “Nothing new yet to report.” … “We are having ongoing dialogue regarding Jaden’s situation.”
  • Mark Divver: Hearing yesterday morning that the Rangers were in on the bidding for Kevin Hayes.

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NHL Rumors: Bertuzzi-Moore, Johansen, Kaberle and Hayes

  • Bob McKenzie: The legal representatives for Todd Bertuzzi and Steve Moore are deep into talks regarding reaching an out of court settlement. Multiple sources are saying that a settlement to not go to trial is possible, talks are ongoing.
  • Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch: Contract talks between the Blue Jackets and Ryan Johansen have been quiet for four weeks. Both sides appear to holding ground on their positions. They are about $3 million apart on a two-year deal. There are currently no plans for talks. GM Jarmo Kekalainen has said that talks have “not become personal” and there’s “plenty of time to get a deal done.” The Blue Jackets are thought to be offering between $3.5 and $4 million a year with Johansen looking for upwards of $7 million. Johansen could sign an offer sheet, with Kekalainen saying they would match it.

    “It’s a business,” Kekalainen said. “But for me, the team is always first. Everything we do — whether you’re a star, a fourth-liner, a grinder, the tough guy, a depth guy — this is all about the team.

    “That’s why you have to be in camp the first day. That’s when it starts, and that’s when the team comes together. It’s very, very important that we start as a team. To me, that is huge. That’s going to be a very serious matter from a team point of view.”

    Johansen’s agent Kurt Overhardt.

    “This is a very unique, top-line player in the NHL,” Overhardt said. “There’s a clear market for a player of this caliber; it’s a small market, but he’s one of them. There are several teams that covet his size, his skill and his continued upside.”

    Overhardt on if it would be hard for Johansen to miss part of training camp.

    “Nope,” he said. “If he’s not in camp, the pressure slips to the other side.”

  • Michael Triakos of the National Post: Tomas Kaberle isn’t ready to retire from hockey just yet and hopes to return to the NHL for another season or two. He hasn’t received any contract offers, but there could be a tryout on the table.

    “It’s not in Ontario,” Kaberle said Monday at the BioSteel Pro Hockey Camp at St. Michael’s College. “I’m planning to stay around here if possible, so we’ll see what’s going to happen in the next few weeks.”

  • Mark Divver: Bruins coach Claude Julien was also pitching Kevin Hayes to join the Bruins the other day, along with GM Peter Chiarelli, and even Charlie Jacobs.
  • Craig Morgan: Sources saying the Coyotes have had several conversations with Kevin Hayes, his agent and family, but he won’t be signing with them.

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Afternoon Hits: Leighton, Borowiecki, Ceci and Milano

  • Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune: The Blackhawks have signed 33-year old goaltender Michael Leighton to a one-year deal. Leighton played with Donbass of the KHL last season. He’ll give the Blackhawks depth in net with Rockford of the AHL. Antti Raanta will backup Corey Crawford.
  • Don Brennan: The Senators have signed Mark Borowiecki to a three-year, $3.3 million deal. He’ll get $1 million, $1.1 million and then $1.2 million.
  • Ian Mendes: The Borowiecki signing is a little strange, but maybe it could mean another move is coming. James Gordon: Could mean that Cody Ceci starts in the AHL and the Sens carry seven defensemen and await for an injury to occur.
  • Aaron Portzline: Boston College coach Jerry York indicates that Blue Jackets may have been steering Sonny Milano’s decision to forgo BC and make the move to the OHL.

    “Sonny has informed me that he will sign a contract with Columbus,” York told his sports information department on Saturday. “They (the Blue Jackets) will dictate his path as he embarks on his pro career.”

    The Blue Jackets weren’t too thrilled with York’s comment and GM Jarmo Kekalainen responded with:

    “We have a lot of respect for Boston College and their program, their ability to develop players,” said Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen, who has known York for many years. “We have the same kind of respect for Plymouth and their ability to develop players … which is why we didn’t get involved in (Milano’s) decision. We left it up to the kid from the get-go.”

    The Blue Jackets don’t have a entry-level contract offer on the table Milano.

    “The situation has changed,” Kekalainen said. “If we have a first-round draft pick who is not protecting his college eligibility, we’re going to have contract talks. That’s what every team does. That’s what we’ve done with (Alex) Wennberg, (Kerby) Rychel … everybody.

    “But it has not started yet. There’s nothing on the table.”

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News and Rumors: Hayes, Shanahan and Milano

  • Mark Divver: Kevin Hayes agent had meetings set up for yesterday afternoon at his office with NHL teams. They could be spending this morning narrowing down teams and then talk with the four or five finalists on Monday.
  • Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun: Word has it Brendan Shanahan’s deal with the Maple Leafs is for five-years and $2.5 million a year.Shanahan met with Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf for a couple days in PEI. Shanahan also met with Phil Kessel over a three hour dinner.

    This is what Shanahan is doing with the Maple Leafs: In every department, in every way. He is talking but more than that he is listening. He is asking all kind of questions. He wants to know what everybody does, more than that, he wants to know what everybody is thinking.

  • Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch: Blue Jackets 2014 1st round pick, Sonny Milano, pulled out of his commitment with Boston College and will play for the Plymouth Whalers (OHL). The Blue Jackets said they wouldn’t get involved in Milano’s decision process.
  • Corey Pronman: Pronman thinks it would be good option if the Blue Jackets and Sonny Milano are considering having him play in the AHL next season.

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NHL Rumors II: Johansen, Brodeur, Kane, Green, Ward, Tootoo, Selanne and Biznasty

  • Matt Larkin of the Hockey News: The Blue Jackets want to give RFA Ryan Johansen a bridge deal, but Larkin thinks they could end up regretting it. Citing P.K. Subban’s bridge that may have cost the Canadiens an extra $2 million cap on his long-term deal.

    Larkin thinks that the Jets could use Martin Brodeur, but it’s more likely that he waits for a team to suffer an injury to one of their goalies or to retire, which could last past September.

    Larkin thinks it would be a mistake for the Jets to trade Evander Kane like it was for the Bruins to trade Tyler Seguin. Kane would cost a lot to acquire him. He’d look good in Pittsburgh.

    The Capitals continue to say they want to keep Mike Green. Green to the Red Wings make too much sense.

    The Hurricanes trading Cam Ward early in the season is unlikely. If he can prove that he’s healthy, he might get some interest in March.

    Larkin doesn’t see why the Jets didn’t buy out Ondrej Pavelec. It wouldn’t have cost the Jets much to acquire Cam Ward.

  • Ken Wiebe: Source saying that the Jets offered Jordin Tootoo a two-way deal but he turned it down.
  • Josh Rimer: Spoke with Teemu Selanne yesterday who is still unsure if he’ll accept Jokerit’s offer to play next season.
  • Alex Prewitt: Paul Bissonnette’s agent, “Still in discussion with a few teams,” which includes the Capitals.

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NHL Rumors: Johansen, Bissonnette and Hextall on the Cap

  • Aaron Portzline: RFA forward Ryan Johansen has two- and four-year offers for the Blue Jackets on the table. There hasn’t been much talk between the two sides lately. The Blue Jackets don’t want to a four-year deal as it would take him to unrestricted free agency. The Blue Jackets have tw0- and three-year deals on the table for Johansen. Time isn’t a factor yet, but training camp is six weeks away and will become a factor soon.
  • The Fourth Period: The Blackhawks appear to be among the five or six teams that have shown some interest in Paul Bissonnette. The Capitals are also one of the teams showing some interest. Bissonnette is thought to be looking for a multi-year deal at around $750,000 per season.
  • Hope Smoke: Flyers GM Ron Hextall: “We have Pronger who we can put on LTIR. We’re over [the cap] but we can make it work” … “You really have to plan and look long-term [RE the cap]. When we moved Hartnell part of it was hockey reasons but also cap reasons” … “In 2 or 3 years we’ll have some of our younger guys up & core players that we’ll need to create [cap] space.” … “Unfortunately you can’t plan exact numbers. It’s not an exact science…” “… You do have to look ahead & see who you have up & make sure you have the proper space to get them signed.” … “My history in LA, sometimes it’s better to sign guys when they’re younger & get a little bit of a better deal than doing a 2-3 year bridge & then signing them long-term.” … “It’s different with every situation but you want to be careful with offer sheets.” … “You don’t want to have a good young player & you’re up against the cap & all of a sudden you’re worried about an offer-sheet.” … “Biggest difference between now and 10-12 years ago is planning ahead with the cap & making sure you have the space.”

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NHL Rumors: Blue Jackets, Leafs, Penguins and UFA Goalies

  • Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch: A couple weeks ago the Blue Jackets and RFA Ryan Johansen were making some progress on a bridge deal, but were about $3 million apart. Two weeks later, not much progress has been made. When asked on the weekend if they were still far apart on a deal, one of the parties said in a text, “hectares.” Training camp starts on September 18th. Johansen is planning to return to Columbus later this month. If the Blue Jackets sign Johansen to a two- or three-year deal, he’ll still be a RFA, but will have arbitration rights. A four-year deal would put him into unrestricted free agency.
  • Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun: If the Maple Leafs pair Dion Phaneuf with Roman Polak, Phaneuf would be moved back to the left side. The Leafs started talking with Daniel Winnik on July 1st but he was looking for too much money. Hearing that Joe Bowen won’t be calling Leafs games on TV, only radio.
  • Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Penguins GM Jim Rutherford last week on Brandon Sutter:

    “The best way to characterize the process is it’s moving in the right direction,” Rutherford said. “I would suspect by next week we might be able to get something done.”

  • Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star: Some UFA goaltenders that are still available: Martin Brodeur, J.S. Giguere, Ilya Bryzgalov, Tim Thomas, Tomas Vokoun, Cal Heeter and David LeNeveu.
  • Jeff Marek: Blue Jackets 1st round pick Sonny Milano will play in with Plymouth (OHL) this season instead of going to Boston College. Adam Kimelman: Milano confirms that he’ll be going to Boston College in the fall.
  • Corey Pronman: The Maple Leafs are working on signing 2014 1st round pick, William Nylander.

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NHL Rumors I: Bruins, Ducks, Blue Jackets and Wild

  • Joe Haggerty of CSNNE: Things are quiet regarding Torey Krug and the Bruins. Krug and Reilly Smith don’t have a lot of leverage as they are coming off their entry level deals with no arbitration rights and are not able to receive offer sheets. It was initially thought that they were looking for second contracts in the Ondrej Palat/Tyler Johnson range, three-years and $10 million. It’s more likely that they sign one or two year deal worth between $1 and $2 million per season. Jake Gardiner’s five-year, $20.25 million is good news for Krug as he could be a comparable.
  • Andy Strickland: Talk is the Ducks and Pat Maroon are close to a contract extension.
  • Aaron Portzline: No truth to the rumor that Blue Jackets Nathan Horton is having back surgery according to Jarmo Kekalainen.
  • Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune: Wild GM Chuck Fletcher on Nino Niederreiter and Darcy Kuemper:

    “We’ve been sort of working our way on both files, certainly had more conversations with Niederreiter’s representative and we’ve talked about bunch of different scenarios, the process is ongoing. We haven’t had as much time on Kuemper’s file I think in part because we thought he may have filed for arbitration and then he didn’t so we thought that would be a scenario where we would prepare to go to arbitration and have a chance to have several conversations over a short period of time and when that didn’t come to pass, it sort of slowed down a little bit. We will see. There’s a long time until training camp and the Group 2 marketplace right now seems to be focused more on the arbitrations. As those contracts come in typically teams get to work a little bit more on their non-arb guys, so we will just see how it goes. I think the agents for those players are trying to see where the market will settle in at and there really just isn’t much rush right now.”

    Russo thinks that Neiderreiter will sign a two- to four-year deal later this month or early September.

    Fletcher on Kuemper:

    “I don’t know, that’s hard to say,” Fletcher told me on KFAN. “I wouldn’t say there’s been enough conversations to say it’s going to be a battle. I mean I guess every negotiation is a battle, but the agent is always trying to get the best contract he can for the player and we are trying to do what is right for the team. It’s always a little trickier I think on our side, the agent obviously wants to represent his client. We have an obligation to every player on our team and if we do a bad contract or spend too much money on a player it impacts our ability to be competitive in other areas. It’s not that we’re trying to fight the player, we’re trying to protect the team. It’s a pretty big obligation. We are certainly going to take our time to get the right deal.”

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Salary Cap Outlook – The Metropolitan Division

Continuing on from where we left off with the Atlantic Division, it’s now time to take a look at the cap situations of the other Eastern Conference teams in the Metropolitan (what a weird name) Division.

*All figures according to, with the Salary Cap being $69 million*

*2015-16 cap space does not include current unsigned RFA’s*

Part 2: Eastern Conference – Metropolitan Division

Carolina Hurricanes

2014-15 Season:

Total players under NHL contract: 20 (11 forwards, 7 defensemen, 2 goalies)
Cap Payroll: $63,080,000
Overages: None
Cap Space: $5,920,000
RFA’s Remaining: None
Players on LTIR: None

Overview: With no RFA’s left to sign, it remains to be seen if the Hurricanes will look to fill out the other forward spot from within, or make a move onto some of the remaining UFA’s. One such player could be Andrei Loktionov, who finished out last season with the team and still finds himself as a UFA. Carolina is in good cap shape heading into next season, despite paying four forwards over $5.75 million (Eric Staal, Alex Semin, Jordan Staal, and Jeff Skinner).

Read the rest of this entry »

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NHL Rumors II: Johansen, Five Arbitration Cases and No Setoguchi For Leafs

  • Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch: The Blue Jackets and Ryan Johansen may still be far apart in contract talks, but at least they have been in contact after weeks of no communication. A source saying that Johansen’s camp recently sent a second contract offer to the Blue Jackets, a two-year deal. Johansen said last month that the Blue Jackets “bridge” offer was a slap in the face. To date, term has been the major stumbling block, with the Johansen looking long-term and the Blue Jackets looking short term.

    “Ryan wants to be a Blue Jacket and he wants to be in Columbus,” said Overhardt, who declined to discuss the negotiations. “That has never been an issue in any of this. He loves it there.

    “He was very excited to see the club wrap up Brandon Dubinsky with such a long-term contract (earlier this month). That’s the kind of player he wants as a teammate, the kind of player he wants beside him.”

    It’s unclear what both sides are offering on a two-year deal, and how far apart they are on salary.

  • Mike Brehm of USA Today: Five interesting salary arbitration cases that are schedule to begin today.Vladimir Sobotka – determining salary for when he decides to return to the NHL.

    Ryan O’Reilly – had a $6.5 million salary last season, with the Avalanche trying to get much lower than that. Recorded 28 goals and 64 points, while picking up the Lady Byng Trophy.

    James Reimer – had 3.29 GAA last year, but a .911 save percentage. Had $1.8 million salary cap hit last year, $1.6 million in salary.

    Chris Kreider, Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard – the Rangers have about $12.3 million available for four roster players.

    P.K. Subban – comparable to when the Predators and Shea Weber went to arbitration. Weber was awarded $7.5 million in 2011. Subban could break Weber’s ruling record.

  • Andrew Walker: Free agent Devin Setoguchi won’t be signing with the Maple Leafs. He is considering two teams in the East.

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